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May 26, 2024

US Envoy and ISRO Chairman Discuss Space Collaboration in Bengaluru

US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, visited Bengaluru to engage with space sector leaders and entrepreneurs, including a significant meeting with ISRO Chairman S Somanath. Their discussions focused on enhancing space collaboration, with particular attention to the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, a joint effort in space research and technology.

During his visit, Garcetti also interacted with industry leaders and members of the American Chamber of Commerce India, emphasizing the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET). This initiative is seen as a pivotal framework for bolstering strategic security and technological cooperation between the two nations, as highlighted in a press release by the US Embassy and Consulates in India.

A key highlight of Garcetti’s visit was his tour of the Science Gallery Bengaluru, India’s premier independent public institution for research-based engagement. There, he explored the “Carbon” exhibition, reflecting the ongoing collaborative efforts in science and technology between the US and India.

In his keynote address at the US-India Commercial Space Cooperation Conference, Garcetti stressed the importance of joint space exploration, satellite launches, and astronaut training. He remarked, “I am delighted to be here today in Bengaluru to participate in the US-India Commercial Space Cooperation Conference. It is an honor to share the stage with ISRO Chairman Dr. Somnath as we unlock commercial opportunities to propel our partnership to the stars and beyond.”

Garcetti also met with the former world champion blind cricket team, recognizing their achievements and wishing them success for their upcoming tour to the US to promote blind cricket ahead of the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics. This engagement underscored the broader cultural and social dimensions of the US-India partnership.

Garcetti’s inaugural visit to Bengaluru highlighted the shared commitment of the US and India to leverage technology and innovation for societal progress. This visit laid the groundwork for deeper collaboration and strategic partnerships in commercial space exploration.

In addition to his engagements in Bengaluru, Garcetti spoke in Mumbai on May 22, where he announced significant investments by the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The DFC is committing USD 3.8 billion to support India’s renewable energy and infrastructure goals, alongside agricultural, healthcare, and financial services initiatives.

Garcetti also celebrated the expansion of the US-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment, a public-private partnership aimed at enhancing women’s economic security in India. He noted, “I am delighted to share tonight that the United States-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment is growing with new partners.”

Reflecting on the broader scope of US-India relations, Garcetti emphasized the critical role of technology in shaping future developments. “You know, technology will define our lives,” he stated, underscoring the necessity of harnessing technological advancements to reach the full economic potential of both nations.

Garcetti’s remarks encapsulated the essence of US-India collaboration: “Reaching our full economic potential means harnessing the very best in our own nations and connecting this alliance together of the US and India to see what we can do for the world.”

This visit, rich in discussions on space collaboration, technology, and economic empowerment, showcased the multifaceted and robust partnership between the United States and India, setting the stage for transformative advancements in various sectors.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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